Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Sometimes We Get More Than We Need

In the United States, we have the beginning of the 'holiday season' which means some families can panic even more about their budget for gifts, some retirees will spend outside their budget limit for the grandchildren in order to be loved, some people will eat too much and be outside their calorie budget for most of the winter, some folks will be under their climate limit and wishfully want to move south, and some will second guess everything about what they have done with this one precious life thus far. 

I suggest that all those thoughts above be written down on a piece of paper and burned.  Yes, some of us will be lonely and think others are having much more fun and getting more love.  Yes, some of us will regret the lifestyle that led to health issues this month.   Yes, some of us will be in sad mode for those we have lost and wish were by our side.

This is the time to think about the wonderful times we had with those whom we loved and who are gone.  What a blessing to have had that bit of time with them!  This is the time to enjoy that mouthful of pumpkin pie with whipped cream and put all thoughts of calories away.  This is the time to be thankful that our grandchildren will remember our smile and our hugs and not that stupid expensive toy.  This is the time to remember the great days in our latitude with a better attitude.

Yes, the weather is cold and gray and your house may be quiet.  But put on a favorite sweater or throw and grab your book, sketch pad, or puzzle, and put on that great music you like and enjoy the gray afternoon.  When you are calm, call someone and ask how they are doing.  When the weather allows take a short walk like I do with a camera in hand and see if I can "frame" my life a little differently.

To all of my blog readers, thank you, thank you, for reminding me I am not alone in the world.

Four days ago we had the best morning sun!


Thursday, November 16, 2023

Not an Imelda, This One

The onset of dementia in someone you love is very much like a mosquito that you think has moved on. It gets bothering to the point of you wanting to smash it against a wall somewhere and then it disappears for hours or perhaps days, and you hurry to forget it was ever there. But it never dies or leaves for good and comes back demanding your attention once again.
The last few trips we have taken, either up to our son's house or further to an out-of-state place, hubby packs his own bags.  On each of those trips, he has come up with an extra pair of shoes that do not match!  He ends up having to wear the shoes that he has on for the week or weekend.

Yesterday while cleaning the closet I found these above.  Two lefts and a right with no partners.  I have no idea where the partners have gone and I have asked various relatives to keep an eye out.  I have asked hubby to use a shoe bag, but he throws them in the back and I am afraid as he pulls out suitcases they have been left on the parking lots of various hotels.

Nobody tells you about this in the books on dementia.

I am not a patient person and I think what little patience I had I used when nurturing my children.  Children will change and learn or understand what you want.  Sadly forgetting does not change.

As fall moves on he has less to do.  His volunteering in the food garden as well as work in our own vegetable garden keeps him busy in the good weather, but this time of year, things begin to be put to rest.  He is a very energetic person.  

My mother-in-law had dementia which grew quite bad over the years.  But she was a lovely quiet lady who liked TV and looking out the window and eating food.  She never felt an urge to go somewhere, although we did take her on day trips with us.

My husband needs tasks and chores. and sadly, he is not of the engineering mind or the artistic soul.   I do suggest simple things around the house and he says he will do them, but he forgets and then spends time trying to find something to do!

I am thankful for his excellent sense of direction and his ability to still drive.  I am thankful for his desire to watch the same programs that I like on television and for his desire to read which I also love.  We still can canoe and boat. (Except for the motor on the boat...another story for another day.)

He can still fry an egg omelet (lightly brown) for his breakfast, or fix a bowl of cereal.

If I accept the two or three questioning interruptions in my life each day, he is able to use the cell phone and his laptop, and I pray they quit changing the interfaces of APPs!  We do spend time looking for his cell phone, but we have done that for years!

Thanks for letting me vent (share) or write about this as I find my way throught he forest.

Saturday, November 11, 2023

It is a Hallmark

I visited the dentist a few days ago.  I had a chipped crown and was not looking forward to the replacement.  As I waited in the chair, I formulated a plan.  The crown replacement would come to over $1,000 much of which I would have to pay.  I was in no pain and I thought maybe he could just fill in the chipped area.  I suggested that and he agreed and I ended up getting a small filling on the side of the molar and ended up only paying $40.00!  But that is not what this post is about.

During the appointment, I sat in the chair and looked up at the TV.  On the TV was a Christmas movie...on the Hallmark Channel, of course.

Have you ever wondered what the word Hallmark actually means? In the United States, it is affiliated with a greeting card company and while people use the traditional mail less and less these days, we still send holiday and regular greetings with a fancy card. (At least some of us do.) 

We also have a cable television channel that is called Hallmark. It is owned by Hallmark Media which is affiliated with Hallmark Cards. The stories are usually about beautiful people (sometimes but rarely physically handicapped and I have not seen an elder romance, but they might have those). They meet up and engage frictionally throughout as well as meet unexpected delays and challenges in their relationship before they fall in love forever. This network is affiliated with the American Christian Television System. I do not watch it because I find the stories predictable, sappy, and unrealistic. Don't get me wrong, I do like a good love story but I have outgrown the "Jane Austen" format.  (I love Jane Austen.)

In 2020 the network was criticised for not having people from the LBGTQ community. Well, I guess that Christian leadership either got woke or saw a way to make more money because they now feature a small amount of those stories. I have not watched them, so I cannot write whether they are similarly sappy and unrealistic. The movie sets are gorgeous and the actors can carry their roles pretty well (challenging?). Now that Christmas is around the corner they are in full swing with new Holiday love stories. 

What does "Hallmark" mean? According to the Internet, it is "A mark indicating quality or excellence. A mark used in Great Britain to stamp gold, silver, and platinum articles that meet established standards of purity. Any of various authorized marks stamped on gold, silver, and platinum articles to indicate where, when, or by whom they were made or assayed."

Enjoy all the holiday movies that you want.  Anything to brighten and inspire our days is recommended.

Thursday, November 02, 2023

Attention Blog Readers

I may not comment on your blog, but that does not mean I did not read it, think about and sometimes attempt to comment. I have noticed that if I turn off Ad Blocker on my browser for specific blogs it will allow me to comment. That in itself seems odd. 

But there are still some blogs that I used to be able to make comments on and now cannot. 
 Birds and Nature in the Forest of Dean and Beyond
 Adventures before Dementia
Fools Rush In 
Linda Letters 

This is VERY ANNOYING. I am going to work on this, but if you have ideas or suggestions, let me know! In the meantime, I will keep hammering away.

Friday, October 27, 2023

Very Cool Part II

Here is Part II of our short morning paddle down the river and back into a little gunk hole.  Our little finger of the river takes less than 30 minutes to reach the end and that is if you are paddling regularly but not at a pace. I actually do very little paddling because I am married to a man who lets me sit as the queen and take photos. There is no current, so sometimes he can paddle and drop a fishing line at the same time. We did not fish this time, but we like to head to the back part of the river because huge catfish, large stingrays, and sometimes other interesting water mysteries are about.

The above is a wood duck box that someone has installed. I hope that wood ducks take advantage in the spring!  

We soon come to the end where the highway crosses.  It is a country paved road, so little traffic except in the mornings and evenings when people are off to work.  As we turn around we see a lovely dogwood(?) that has fallen but adjusted in its beauty to growing sideways!  As we move further along I see two wood dragons arguing at the water's edge and this is followed by more fall color and then a bit of a lucky shot as I capture our belted Kingfisher on a branch and later one of our Blue Herons.

All in all, I would say it was a lovely morning.

Monday, October 23, 2023

We All Wait for the Cool, Don't We?

This canoe trip was taken up our bend in the river on October 5. The leaves had not changed to that beautiful fall by then but were just showing their potential. But the cooler early morning air was "breathtaking."  A canoe is a quiet way to glide and move.

We had not been out in months.  The summer humid air was too hot and humid and as an elder, it is hard to take.  But then, the fall weather arrived overnight and the next morning we got up early, packed a light lunch, and set out in eagerness to see nature.  

We skirted the shoreline where the neighborhood is trying to develop an oyster reef at the point in the photo below.  The water was a mirror.

A small group of deer were grazing on the ridge. One of the neighbors has set up a deer blind and it is rare to see deer now and these stay at the far end of the point.  We did startle a blue heron as we turned the corner.

The sun had barely crested the trees on the opposite side of the river, but when the rays hit the shoreline, they revealed that autumn was coming.

We were the only boaters out and about.  All was pristine and quiet.  We love that we can do that by getting up earlier in the fall mornings. The serious fisherpeople had left hours earlier and were out at the Bay or the wider mouth of the river where the bigger fish are more available.  Our more prosperous neighbors had begun to tuck their toys back in for warmer days.

I caught a very blurry photo of a red-bellied woodpecker.  This was cropped quite a bit as he was high in a far tree.  He is on the big trunk on the left side.  If you cannot see him, that is OK.

The sun got brighter as we turned facing east. And then we turned into the darker finger that was at the end where our river comes to a small highway bridge and we watched the sun touch that side.

There isa bit more before we turned home and I will make that Part II.

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Autumn Makes Photographers Just a Little Crazy

Below are photos of my Black Haw or Viburnum as it turns color this fall. It is a shrub that gets about six feet high and five or six feet across and has many little baby plants. Birds eat those dark blue seeds. The first photo is the original with a little bit of denoise and lightening. The rest are fun filters. Do you have a favorite?